Monday, March 3, 2008

Korea's New "Knowledge-Based Economy Ministry"

South Korea's new government under President Lee Myung Bak has created a Knowledge-based Economy Ministry. The new ministry is a product of the previous Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy plus some parts from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Information and Communication. In a related development the government is creating a new Broadcasting-Communications Commission, as an independent body directly under the President. It will consolidate elements of the old Broadcasting Commission with parts of the former Ministry of Information and Communications to regulate both broadcasting and telecommunications. The presidential transition team has promised "epoch regulatory reforms," claiming that Korea is 5-10 years behind other advanced countries in the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications. The knowledge economy framework formed the basis of a recent case study of the Korean economy by the World Bank and several leading Korean research institutes. That study was publicly released at a June 2006 conference here in Seoul and published in book form last month. Both the Knowledge Economy framework and the reorganization of South Korea's government will be the subject of future posts here. Among other things, the list of recommended government web-sites in the right-hand navigation bar of this blog will change. Along with many others from industry, academia and government, I will try to interpret the significance of these changes.

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